***Contains major spoilers for Raising Voices***


Warning: This article contains discussion of sexual assault and suicide which some readers might find upsetting.

The latest Spanish-language series from Netflix, Raising Voices, is vocal from the get-go, when a 17-year-old woman named Alma (Nicole Wallace) attaches a banner to the front of her school which reads: "Beware! A rapist is in there!"

The show, originally named Ni una más, then jumps back to reveal everything that led up to this point.

Based on Miguel Sáez Carral's book of the same name, Raising Voices raises not just Alma's voice, but that of her friends too.

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All of them confront issues around sexual violence across the eight episodes that follow in ways that are reminiscent of another Netflix original, Grand Army, that launched a few years earlier.

The focal point is Alma, though, and her quest to find justice, which threatens to derail everything in her life — and even her future.

So, does Alma find that justice? In the real world, it's not so easy, but is that also true in Raising Voices?

Raising Voices ending explained: Does Alma find justice?

Nicole Wallace as Alma in Raising Voices sitting in a hospital waiting area with her headphones in and looking down to roll a cigarette.
Nicole Wallace as Alma in Raising Voices. Javier del Cerro/Netflix

After a slower first half, Raising Voices picks up the pace as Alma's crusade — and her outrage — reaches boiling point. But how did we get here?

Alma hasn't been doing well for a while. Not only is she fighting with her parents over bad grades, but a dangerous ride with local drug dealers shakes her too. Determined to have a good time still, Alma and her friend Greta go clubbing without their friend Nata, who's annoyed that they left her out.

The pair take drugs and then Alma leaves soon after with an old friend named Hernan. Upon eventually arriving home, Alma's parents lose it, and her father even hits her for worrying her mother so much. Father of the year, he ain't.

The next day, Alma starts having flashbacks of an unwanted sexual encounter from the night before, but she can't remember who it was because of all the drink and drugs. When Alma does finally realise it was Hernan who took advantage of her, she calls him out and says a better friend would have looked after her instead.

Still, Alma can't help but feel like it's her fault, even though that's of course not true. These complicated feelings worsen when she starts receiving unsolicited d**k pics from an anonymous account online.

All signs point to Hernan, but it's actually Nata's boyfriend, Alberto, who's harassing Alma now - because why? Because men are awful. At least Hernan goes on to apologise for everything that happened, although that doesn't excuse his behaviour by any means.

Alberto and Alma had friction before this, which threatened to ruin Alma's friendship with Nata because Nata couldn't see how awful her boyfriend was. Not at first, anyway. That changes, though, when the pair start breaking into rich people's houses to act out and vandalise them for fun, even though she's rich herself.

One night, Alberto invites some of his friends to join without telling Anata. When things turn aggressive and scary for Nata, Alberto simply stands by and watches his friends threaten to assault her.

Police sirens break the "party" up then, but Nata is still disturbed by what happened. Still, with some truly horrible motherly advice ringing in her ear, Nata gives Alberto another chance under the illusion that "men will be men".

Eventually, Nata comes to realise that this is wrong, that she should have never forgiven her boyfriend. In fact, she should have reported him. Right before Nata joins Alma's protest at the end, she finally breaks up with Alberto in front of her classmates with a plan to tell the police everything that happened between them.

Meanwhile, Alma's friend Berta has been going through hell. It turns out that she's still struggling deeply with a previous sexual assault at the hands of her history teacher.

When Berta confides in her friend, Alma feels guilty because she had an inkling something was going on but had been too young to speak up. Berta forgives Alma, reminding her that this wasn't her fault because she wasn't to know the full extent of what happened.

Alma stood in front of the school gates with her sign behind her
Nicole Wallace as Alma. Netflix

Together, the pair start a new social media account where Berta can speak out and express everything she's going through while staying anonymous. Other victims of sexual assault begin to follow and find meaning in what they're doing, but when Alma has the chance to meet the history teacher one-on-one for tutoring, she decides that she needs to do more.

Alma's plan is to catch him in the act, but Berta hates this idea because she's scared for her friend's safety.

Alma goes through with the plan anyway, but it backfires when another teacher is brought in to help supervise the tutoring session.

After, Berta suggests posting a picture of the teacher's car on their account to see if any other potential victims might come forward, but this new plan goes awry when Alma reveals how the teaching session went. Berta unravels at the news that this didn't work, and she ends up taking her own life.

That's why Alma puts that banner up. Because she needs justice for Berta, and Alma also needs other girls at the school to know what the history teacher is really like, so the same thing doesn't happen to them. The banner isn't enough, though, so Alma also posts a picture of the man's face on her account, hoping that someone might recognise him and come forward with their own story.

At the end, justice is won. Someone does actually speak out, which leads to the predator's capture by the police.

The series ends with Alma embarking on a three-month tour with a DJ around Europe, her dream, and the final shot lingers on her favourite teddy in her bedroom, signifying the innocence that she's left behind.

These kind of happy endings aren't always so easy to come by in the real world, of course. Sexual assault is often not reported, and even when it is, convictions can be hard to come by.

But Raising Voices doesn't need to be realistic in that regard. No, what works so well here is the emphasis on how assault can impact us all differently, and that no one should ever blame themselves for assault of any kind. Where possible, don't stay silent. If it's safe to do so, raise your voice - and do so knowing this wasn't your fault.

For support and advice on matters raised in this article, please visit rapecrisis.org.uk, call the 24/7 Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Line on 0808 500 2222 or chat to Rape Crisis online 247sexualabusesupport.org.uk.

The Samaritans are also available 24/7 if you need to talk. You can contact them for free by calling 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or head to the website to find your nearest branch.

Raising Voices is available to stream now on Netflix. Sign up from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.


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